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Notes

Thoughts on how to settle disputes and resolve complex situations.

Special Situations/Trustee

Real Experience Resolving Real Problems in High-Stakes Situations

When you need an unbiased professional to intervene, an independent board member to help decide, or an unbiased intermediary to take control of a complex situation, you need someone who has the ability to work with others as an honest broker while remaining true to their fiduciary duties. You need someone who can build a coalition among divergent viewpoints in a high-pressure situation to get things done. DeGroote Partners takes control of seemingly intractable business disputes and complex situations and brings them to closure creatively and efficiently. DeGroote Partners is based in Dallas but has a national reach when it comes to responding to special situations and engagement as a liquidating trustee, a litigation trustee, or a chief restructuring officer.

A new perspective can make a difference.

Special situations are those opportunities where new leadership can make a real difference, and they’re where John DeGroote and his team thrive. Whether it’s an underperforming asset to be maximized, gridlock that must be broken, or a relationship that can’t proceed without an intermediary, DeGroote Partners has a unique combination of experience to make a difference. Our approach to special business situations focuses on hands-on leadership, early matter assessment, and aggressive project management to drive results.

Past Complex Business Situations Successes

Described by warring stakeholders as an “honest broker who brings professional expertise to real problems” who “comes up with ingenious and imaginative ways to solve problems,” John — and his team — have been retained to serve as:

  • President and Secretary, Contura Energy, Inc., formed to purchase assets of Alpha Natural Resources, Inc.
  • President and Secretary, CONMEBOL USA, Inc., the United States subsidiary of one of the two soccer federations that played in Copa América Centenario 2016
  • Court-appointed liquidating trustee to the BearingPoint, Inc. Liquidating Trust, returning $58 million to creditors since the Trust’s inception
  • Court-approved settlement administrator, retained to hold funds, determine settlement amounts, and distribute payments to a class of claimants for the next 10 years
  • Privately appointed chief restructuring officer and wind-down administrator in cases where companies and their stakeholders require an independent officer and director to settle companies’ affairs and pay remaining creditors
  • Court-appointed receiver to an entity with multiple claims for control
  • Court-appointed temporary administrator to a significant probate estate subject to a will contest
  • Litigation/claims consultant in multiple bankruptcies, managing avoidance actions in several jurisdictions
  • Trust advisory board member to a post-confirmation trust, with particular responsibility for litigation oversight
  • Service as a director and officer to an offshore international intellectual property holding company

Experienced, Trusted, Decisive

John DeGroote’s experience makes him ideally suited for high-pressure roles. In various roles at KPMG Consulting/BearingPoint, Inc., John’s practice environment included:

  • Separation of consulting services from accounting firm KPMG LLP
  • Formation of a new legal department
  • KPMG Consulting’s initial public offering
  • Roughly 30 acquisitions
  • Two restatements
  • An Audit Committee investigation
  • Two formal SEC investigations
  • Several additional governmental inquiries and investigations
  • Multiple reductions in force
  • Three CEOs
  • Two General Counsel
  • Post-separation claims by or against a majority of departing C-level executives
  • Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and liquidation.

As a liquidating trustee since 2010 and as a corporate officer for almost two decades, John has managed a robust litigation docket, including cases large and small filed in several states. Yet, he has never wavered from delivering results for his clients.

Fiduciary and Resourceful

We understand that different cases require different economic approaches, and John and his team are willing to work within various budgets and timelines. In the past they have structured engagements:

  • On a success fee basis, so our client could generate additional cash to pay administrative expenses
  • To serve as a subcontractor to another services firm operating on a contingency fee, deploying nonlawyer resources where practical to limit expenses
  • Using flat monthly fees to add predictability to the already strained budget of several estates being restructured

Contact John and his team to discuss the special situation you’re facing.